Our Online Lessons are Free and They Work—What Are You Waiting For?

October 28, 2013

Bedsider, Contraception

Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing CollegeWhen The National Campaign started working with community colleges in 2008, we quickly realized that there wasn't much going on to provide students with information about preventing unplanned pregnancy--information that could help them complete their education. We learned that only two in 10 community colleges provide students with this information, and there weren't really any resources to help college faculty if they wanted to. Since then, we've been working with colleges to fill this gap.

One of the resources that we developed with college faculty is our set of three online lessons,Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing College, which are flexible enough to use in a variety of settings on a college campus. College faculty don't need to become experts to be able to provide their students with helpful information about why they should care about preventing unplanned pregnancy, learn about the different methods of birth control, and how to take action to wait to have children (or additional children) until they've completed their education. Also, the lessons are free!

Most of the information about birth control comes from The National Campaign's Bedsider website. The lessons take various parts of the site--like the Method ExplorerWhere to Get It, and the awesome new Guy's Guide--and put them in an educational frame. Similar to the positive feedback we get about Bedsider, students reported that they enjoyed taking the online lessons and found the information useful. One student said, "I think the stories really helped me put things into perspective especially realizing that unplanned pregnancy is such a big thing. It changes everything!"

I'm so pleased to report that our evaluation of the lessons, which was conducted in the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters with 2,050 students at three colleges--Georgia Perimeter College, Palo Alto College in San Antonio, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College--has shown that the lessons are effective at changing students' knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intent. After only about 90 minutes of independent, online learning, students were significantly more likely to believe that a pregnancy would make it more difficult to complete their educational goals, be knowledgeable about birth control, have a clear plan for preventing unplanned pregnancy, and more! The National Campaign's evaluation report can be downloaded here. We hope the results will motivate anyone who works with (or plans to work with) college students to provide them with this fun, helpful resource that's easy and flexible to use. And did I mention that they're FREE!?

Now that we know the lessons make a difference when it comes to preventing unplanned pregnancy, we're working with three colleges--Georgia Perimeter College, Miami Dade College, and Tarrant County College--to try to determine if students who complete the online lessons then go on to complete their educational goals. Stay tuned!

If you're interested in using the online lessons, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out to me at cstorin@thenc.org or 202.478.8519.

Authored by: Chelsey Connolly

Chelsey Connolly is the Senior Manager of College Initiatives at The National Campaign. She is responsible for fostering relationships with college faculty and administrators and working with them to help students achieve their educational goals by preventing unplanned pregnancy. She also supports the development of materials, such as the online lessons, Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy and Completing College. In December 2012 she co-authored a report published by the American Association of Community Colleges, titled Make It Personal: How Pregnancy Planning and Prevention Help Students Complete College, about its project with the Campaign to incorporate the topic of preventing unplanned pregnancy into academic courses.

Since joining the Campaign in 2007, Chelsey has worked in several departments including State and Local Action, the Latino Initiative, and Public Policy. She also managed a federal grant to give teens information about how to have healthy relationships, through which she helped create the award-winning online games, My Paper Boyfriend and My Paper Girlfriend on StayTeen.org.

Chelsey earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing at Georgia Southern University. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog.

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